The Crowd -- B.W. Cook

Local star society informant Corinne Black, public relations czarina

for the Assistance League of Newport Mesa, reports that Art Linkletter

will front a March 8 luncheon event for the League. The afternoon with

Linkletter will unfold at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Tennis

Club beginning with a late morning reception followed by luncheon and an

address by Linkletter.

The event is sponsored by the Las Reinas and the Virginia Castle

auxiliaries of the Assistance League of Newport Mesa. The fourth annual

spring fund-raiser will feature a silent auction, an opportunity drawing

and more, with tickets priced at $75 per person. The Assistance League of

Newport Mesa, founded in 1940, serves the children of this community

through programs including the Children's Dental Health Center, the

Community Outreach Program, Kids on The Block and Operation School Bell.

Tickets are available by making a reservation with the League office

at (949) 645-6929.

* * * *

The 26th annual Spirit of Volunteerism Awards sponsored by the

Volunteer Center of Orange County were bestowed upon a diverse cross

section of honorees including a significant contingent of Newport-Mesa

participants. The recent event, featuring a luncheon and awards

presentation, drew a crowd of near 1,000 guests to the Disneyland Hotel

in Anaheim.

Underwritten by Newport's Crean Foundation, Elizabeth and Thomas

Tierney, Elizabeth Steele and Newport's Pacific Life, the presentation

was chaired by Ronna Shipman with support from Sue Cannon, Betty Belden

Palmer, Laura Benson, S.P. Callaway, Peggy Goldwater Clay, Sara Corrigan,

Carol Dooley, Chuch Dreyer, Kendall and Steve Funt, Kelly Gonis, Diane

Killeen, Carol Latham, Sharon Paisley, Elva Rubalcava, Priscilla Schoch

and Jean Simon.

The Volunteer Center of Orange County, in association with the Points

Of Light Foundation, seeks to promote awareness about volunteerism and

service opportunities within Orange County. Special days have been

designated as "Seasons of Service Days" and they include the following:

Cesar Chavez Day Of Service And Learning, March 23; National Volunteer

Week, April 21-27; Earth Day, April 22; Volunteer Connection Day , April

27; National Youth Service Days, April 26-28; Join Hands Day, June 15;

Make A Difference Day, Oct. 26; National Family Volunteer Day, Nov. 23;

and Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Day, Jan. 20.

Olga and Fernando Niebla received the Giving Is Living Award,

presented to a couple for their distinguished service and commitment to

strengthening volunteerism in the community. The honor was presented to

the Nieblas by Newport's Elizabeth and Tom Tierney, honorary chairs of

the event as well as recipients of last year's award.

Among the other award recipients were Newport's Patricia Neisser on

behalf of the Orange County Protocal Foundation, Merle Hatleberg on

behalf of Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa, Sophie Cripe on

behalf of Human Options, Matt Humphrey on behalf of Share Our Selves,

Fred Birch on behalf of Parents Without Partners, Dave Snowden on behalf

of Hoag Hospital Foundation, Jack Hernance on behalf of Costa Mesa Senior

Center, Eileen Saul on behalf of ChildHelp USA and Laura Blatchford on

behalf of the Blind Children's Learning Center.

Proceeds from the luncheon are expected to top the $75,000 mark. For

more information on how you can get involved in the community, contact

Frances Rozner at (714) 953-5757, Ext. 134.

* * * *

The Divas of The Balboa Theater, a dedicated group of women raising

significant funds to restore the old brick theater on the Balboa

Peninsula, are planning an Academy Awards themed gala fund-raiser to be

held March 23 at the Clubhouse at Pelican Hill.

Darby Manclark, Carol Durham and Nancy Irvine will co-chair the

evening, which will feature a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle as the opportunity

drawing prize. The generosity of Ray Fladeboe Volkswagen, in the Irvine

Auto Center, is making the car drawing possible, even permitting the

winner to choose their favorite car color from available Fladeboe stock.

Denice Mock is chairing the Volkswagen opportunity drawing, with

tickets selling at $50 each. A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold.

Pretty good odds to take home a Beetle and at the same time help to raise

funds to help to restore the historic turn of the century Balboa Theater.

Eve Kornyei serves as the current president of The Divas. Additional

support comes from Joanne Pavia, Peggy Whitehead, Christeen Shively,

Mitzi Wells, Nancy Lynn Olson, S.P. Callaway, Sue Cannon, Patti

Tomaselli, Debbie Newmeyer, Debbie Schweickert and Lana Chandler.

To purchase a ticket to either the Academy Awards party or the

opportunity drawing, please call (949) 673-0895.

* THE CROWD appears Thursdays and Saturdays.

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